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Gerard’s Top-10 Super Duper Films of 2013!

Gerard's Super Duper Films of 2013 - www.whysoblu.comWe’ve come to it at last…my Top-10 film list for the year 2013. I’ll be upfront about it and say that I did not see most of the major and non-major films of 2013. I am only listing the films that I saw that made an actual impact in my life, for better or for worse. No BS. It’s also kind of funny that since my list is due today, the 28th of December, I had to scramble and watch several movies at the cinema this past week  STAT! It was a lot of fun but there are also just so many movies I can watch before a deadline hits. Luckily for me, some of those films that I watched at the last minute were so great that they indeed made my Top-10 list just in the nick of time. So, without further ado, let’s get the party started!

The following films were all seen in the year 2013. Some didn’t even play in cinemas near me, so I had to watch them on Blu-ray and VOD (video on demand). We’re starting off from 10 to 1. Hold on tight, yo!

 

Europa Report - www.whysoblu.com10.  Europa Report – Yes, the “real” science fiction film that no one really saw and those that actually saw it actually liked it. It had a pretty cool little ensemble cast, great production values, and a neat story. I’d say that it was one of the most intense and grounded-in-reality space exploration films that I have seen in recent years. Hell, they even had JPL actively working on the film, too. Europa Report was heavily promoted at San Diego Comic Con in the summer before its limited theatrical release and subsequent Blu-ray and DVD release. Europa Report told the story of some astronauts on a mission to one of Jupiter’s moons to search for life. I was fortunate enough to review the Blu-ray here and it did not disappoint as it creeped up to make it on to my Top-10 list here. Europa Report was indeed “real” science fiction at its best. Great effects, production values, and stellar cast propelled it above all others that tried to take on the subject matter. Europa Report was a very haunting science fiction flick. If you haven’t seen the film then that needs to be rectified immediately.

 

Redemption - www.whysoblu.com9. Redemption – Trailers are very deceiving and Redemption’s trailer aka Hummingbird was no different. It was touted as Jason Statham’s next action romp but when I watched it was more of a character study on a former British soldier who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder that has to pick himself up and make the wrong things right again. A nun with secrets of her own comes into the picture and Mr. Statham has to deal with that. Oh, and he also becomes an enforcer for the local triad that governs the mean streets of London. It’s a fully loaded and beautiful looking film written and directed by Steven Knight, writer of Eastern Promises, making his directorial debut. Knight hits it out of the park. Why? How? Well, for starters he pulls a grand performance from Jason Statham. Yes, Statham who will forever be pigeonholed as an “action star,” but he absolutely brings his chops to the yard in Redemption. All past transgressions are forgiven as he delivers a great performance filled with grit and heart to the screen. If you haven’t seen the film now would be a good time to do so.

 

The Conjuring - www.whysoblu.com8. The Conjuring – James Wan came back and killed it with one of his latest films: The Conjuring. I happened to see this film in theaters in a packed auditorium and it was scary as hell! The film had an expanded budget, so Wan was able to get more bang for his buck. The Conjuring told the tale of a family whom ghosts that segued into possession in the early 70’s were tormenting. It was not pleasant for those living in said house. I really thought the atmosphere, performances, and visual effects came together and elevated the film to more than a “typical” demonic possession film. The Blu-ray was also top notch. If you haven’t seen The Conjuring then I highly advise you to get your scare on. You’ll thank me in the morning.

 

 

Pacific Rim - www.whysoblu.com7. Pacific Rim – Giant fucking monsters battling giant fucking robots?! What’s not to love? Guillermo del Toro came in and rocked the mic with his science fiction epic that depicted an apocalyptic scenario that had monsters from an alternate universe coming into our world to wreak havoc. Earth combined its resources and created a fighting force of giant 200 foot robots equipped to dispense justice on these 200-foot monsters.  Pacific Rim was a total nerd-gasm come to life. I should also mention that it was featured in my Top-10 Blu-ray list, because the Blu-ray was indeed spectacular. As a film, it was also up to snuff but ranks a tad bit lower on the totem pole. Either way, Pacific Rim was tres legit!

 

 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - www.whysoblu.com6. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – Here’s one of the newest and latest films to hit 2013 that made my Top-10 list at the very last minute. Ben Stiller stars and directs the film that tells the tale of Walter Mitty, negative asset manager for Life magazine who envisions a better life. He spends his days and night’s day dreaming of a more exciting life and to share the adventure with his co-worker, Cheryl, played by Kristen Wiig. Walter Mitty is not a subtle film and it wears its intentions clearly on its sleeve and I actually appreciated that. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how the film will end. I also appreciated the fact that the daydreaming fantasy sequences didn’t overpower the film. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is just downright wholesome and made me smile. It’s definitely a feel-good film that works. It’s also a great looking film that was shot in all of those locations that were depicted onscreen.

 

The World's End - www.whysoblu.com5. The World’s End – Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost reunited and came back with a vengeance with a very cool, funny, and action packed take of friends from school who were off to complete a grueling pub crawl that they weren’t able to complete back in their younger years. It’s all fun and games until the town that they’re to pub-crawl through is taken over by aliens. Not only did The World’s End kick all sorts of ass but also it had emotional depth. Simon Pegg played a very damaged character that had to redeem himself by saving the day. Did I mention that it’s also hysterically funny? Just checking. I needed the laughs and I got them in spades along with a pint of bitters. Craft brew anyone?

 

 

American Hustle - www.whysoblu.com4. American Hustle – 2013 was Scorsese’s year and with American Hustle we had a great film that Scorsese didn’t direct but that you’d have a hard time not believing that. David O. Russell came off of his triumphant Silver Linings Playbook and co-wrote and directed American Hustle with such assurance that all of the haters out there are now accusing him of blatantly ripping off Scorsese. I don’t see it that way. American Hustle takes place in the 70’s and tells the story of some shady characters who come together to make obscene amounts of money by shaking down certain parties who may or may not deserve it.  You don’t know who’s working what angle and the film features some stellar performances by all those involved and some who I didn’t even know were in the film. Oh, and it’s got a stellar soundtrack, too.

 

Rush - www.whysoblu.com3. Rush – Start your engines mother-truckers! Rush was Ron Howard’s return to stellar filmmaking. He pulled together a great cast featuring the God of Thunder himself Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Daniel Bruhl (Inglorious Basterds). They portrayed the famous 1970’s Formula One rivalry by the real life James Hunt and Niki Lauda. I didn’t really care about car racing until after I watched Rush pummel the crap out of me in a very entertaining fashion. Now I’m addicted to Formula One! It’s a classy sport. Also, Rush told a very emotional and entertaining story about a very dangerous sport that spared no one during those very tumultuous times in the 70’s. I am counting down the days until the Blu-ray is released!

 

 

Her - www.whysoblu.com2. Her – Due to the various time constraints I had in compiling this Top-10 list ArcLight Cinemas blessed me by expanding Her into all of their theaters, so that I did not have to go out of my way to check the movie out way the hell across town. Her is Spike Jonze’s latest film starring Joaquin Phoenix and features the voice of Scarlett Johansson as an advanced OS (operating system) that Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with. We’re just flies on the wall and their interactions are amazing. The film takes place in Los Angeles but is a mash-up of Hong-Kong and Singapore combined. I think. It’s technically the future after all. The way the film is constructed and the way people talk is horrifyingly real in that what they say and do can easily translate into what people actually go through at the various stages of a relationship. I’m still thinking about the film many hours later.

 

Wolf of Wall Street - www.whysoblu.com1. The Wolf of Wall Street – I could not deny my primal instincts, which is why The Wolf of Wall Street is my favorite film of 2013. Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio came in and CRUSHED everyone else that even dared to come close to its seductive powers. Money, drugs, women, even more money, the gateways to happiness were unleashed to the masses and what a trip it was. Not to mention it was based on the true story of Jordan Belfort. The wunderkind made millions before he was 30 and proceeded to screw it all up by getting in way over his coked out head. I’m definitely not saying that what these individuals did was right at all. What I am saying is that the ride lasted 3 hours and it was quite a journey. Time flew by and I do believe that Martin Scorsese and company will be nominated for more awards come Oscar time. The Wolf of Wall Street is basically a junior version of Casino: “We had it all until we fucked it all up.” Being a scumbag was never this much fun! I had a ball with The Wolf of Wall Street. 

 

Well, another year in film has come and gone. Lots of films hit theaters that I missed and some did come close to making it on here but were given the axe at the very last minute. If you are interested in any of the films on this Top-10 list you can click on the thumbnail image and you will be transported to Amazon where you may purchase the Blu-ray. Some of the titles on the list are currently only available as pre-orders, so lock in those prices while you can. I’ll see you guys next year!

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

8 Responses to “Gerard’s Top-10 Super Duper Films of 2013!”


  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Cool list G!
    Love seeing Rush on here and so high! Definitely in my 11-20.
    Europa Report is solid too.
    Wish I liked The Conjuring as much as others, but it had some solid scares.
    Glad to see Mutty getting love too and you know I love a The World’s End.
    Nice to see you squeezed in some other last minute picks as well.

  2. Brian White

    I need to see Europa Report! Please let there be aliens in it!
    I guess looking at your list, with the exception of why I can’t see Her, the only movie I’m beating myself up over not seeing one of the three press screenings is Rush. Never thought it would be that good, but I guess the joke’s on me.
    I would have used the Bradley Cooper poster for American Hustle 😉 just saying.
    I think the production value is high on Conjuring, but I was never that scared. I guess certain people have different thresholds.
    Her!!! GD LA!

  3. Mike

    Brian, Europa Report is solid, just one suggestion – you have to clear your mind completely and have no expectations or preconceptions. The first time I saw it I liked it but near the end, it somewhat lost me. However, I found myself still thinking about it afterwards. Upon second viewing, this is what I took from it – it was almost like a science fiction/documentary, if you will. I can see this type of event unfolding if we as humans undertook such a plan.

    It was my own fault – I went into it, expecting a ‘hollywood’ ending. So your ‘let there be aliens in it’ – let that one go, and you will really enjoy it!

  4. Brian White

    Hey Mike! Thanks for the input there. I think I will be giving ER a rental this weekend on iTunes. I was only kidding about the alien stuff. It’s an inside joke between Gerard and I as I have always tried to get him to spoil the ending for me. LOL. I was there at the panel of Europa Report at Comic-Con this year (http://whysoblu.com/sd-comic-con-2013-europa-report/) so it’s always been on my bucket list so to speak to see this one!

  5. Gregg

    Europa Report jumping to the top of my ‘need to see it’ list. Loved the Pacific Rim (ala Jaws) poster!

  6. Brandon Peters

    Great list G! Love that someone had Conjuring on their list, cuz James Wan directed the hell out of that movie.

    Still need to see Redemption and Walter Mitty!

    Hooray for Rush! Great movie!

  7. Brian White

    I finally was able to see Europa Report last night.
    Gotta say…it’s quite little gem. I have nothing bad to say about it.
    Good pick Gerard!

  8. Brian White

    I finally saw Rush over the weekend. It is Super Duper!